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“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears. . . . He made darkness His covering, His canopy around Him— the dark rain clouds of the sky.” (Ps. 18:6, 11)

We are blessed to live in the ‘rain shadow’ of the Malvern Hills. Those on the western side cop a great deal more snow and extreme weather than we do. By the time it reaches us, the clouds have discharged the worst of their weight of water.  Being under any form of shadow is very challenging, but what destructive force for those caught under the full weight of a deluge!

I am acutely aware of a number of friends who are passing through extremely distressing experiences who need a fresh touch from Him, despite their sense of being on the dark side of the moon. The Lord who said “I form the light and create darkness” (see Is. 45:7) knows all about these extreme situations, whether of climate or circumstance, and is not thwarted by these difficulties and darkness that seem so overwhelming to us.

May this prayer poem that Ros and I recorded some years ago speak deeply to any such situations that we are aware of, or that we are facing ourselves. There is much to ponder in these simple words. Corinne Frost, David Booth and Christiane von Albrecht improvised the music on cello, guitar and keyboard. 

RAIN SHADOW

“Lord, I’m feeling in too much suspense to make much sense of what is happening now – let alone to have much sense of swilkering. I’m in the rain shadow – and it feels like the dark side of the moon!”

The Lord:

“Keep in mind the way I’ve designed the solar system. The moon’s not bigger than the sun and the Earth’s not going round the moon, and there are reasons why certain sides face away from the sun, just as there are advantages in living in the rain shadow.

Many great souls experience the dark night of the senses, so why be surprised if all feels shut down? I am still at work though the tide is out and the night feels over long.

Be sure to maintain a desert diet during this enforced quiet, for what you pray in these wilderness wanderings counts double in My sight –and the time will come when the desert bursts once more into bloom.”

“Lord, the way ahead feels scary and circumstances quite contrary, but You have gone ahead first to ordain and then to explain the drift of this subtle shift of seasons.”

The Lord:

“Although this new position may not earn you much official recognition, those who strain their hearts to fly at point may ultimately carry no more weight in My sight than those I hold in reserve to hold the anchor rope and to serve without rancour in some seemingly lesser role.”

“Thank You that when hope is fading fast, and the dead hand of the past threatens the romance, You never cease to provide some brand new way to advance.

Your love is as fresh today as it ever was all those years ago when You first called men and women to forsake the ways of the flesh and to follow You.

Formidable fortitude that will not let us go; inestimable concern that spies out opportunities where others see none and that continues to yearn for us even when we are inclined to mope and whinge.

When the wellspring of thanksgiving has all but run dry, You open up the living springs of the deep to preserve our hearts from growing old and cold. Grant us the passionate pursuit of the Lover, and reawaken us to all we know to be true and hold most dear.”